Although Seattle is pretty far north of the Mexican border, that doesn’t mean we can’t or don’t have any options when it comes to celebrating Cinco de Mayo. If you want to participate in the fun, then you’re in luck! Between cultural events, delicious eats, music and dancing; Seattle still has a lot to offer when it comes to the when, where and how of celebration. And if you’re looking for some (admittedly last minute) ideas for how to spend your Friday, we’ve got just the itinerary for you!
The More You Know
The first thing you should do before you celebrate Cinco De Mayo is be sure you know the history behind the holiday. On May 5th 1862, General Ignacio Zaragoza helped lead the Mexican Army to a successful victory against the French at the Battle of Puebla, despite the odds being in the French’s favor. Because of this unexpected but huge victory, this date is commemorated.
Cinco de Mayo is not to be mistaken as the Mexican Independence Day (which is actually September 16th), and unlike the Mexican Independence Day, in Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is not celebrated nearly as much or as widely as it is in the United States. Because of its prominence in the U.S, Cinco de Mayo has become much more of a celebration of Mexican-American heritage and culture with the largest celebration taking place in Los Angeles, California.
Like most holidays, one of most highly anticipated activities for Cinco de Mayo is…eating! And it makes perfect sense. With guacamole, margaritas, and tacos on the mind, we know you’ll be in search of a place to satisfy these cravings. Luckily, you can support a Mexican owned business like Fogón Cocina Mexicana on Capitol Hill or Mezcaleria Oaxaca in Queen Anne to get your Mexican food fix. Yum!
Or, if you’d rather not brave the crowds, why not try your hand at some traditional Mexican dishes in your own kitchen? Chiles en nogada, enchiladas, tortas pambazos, homemade guacamole? Don’t just drool over it, get cooking! And of course, while you’re enjoying your food, don’t pass up a chance to try this deliciously simple margarita.
See & Do
Now that you’ve finished your food, you’re probably wondering what to do and where to go next to make the most of your night. Well, do you want to hear a mix of Latin sounds like cha cha, bossa nova, Latin jazz, rumba, son, and salsa? You’re in luck. Alma y Azúcar will be performing in The Royal Room in Columbia City at 8:00pm (doors 6:30pm) for their Cinco de Mayo Fiesta and you won’t want to miss it!
Or are you feeling like you want to get up and move? Then hop on over to Century Ballroom on Capitol Hill for an evening of salsa. Not only do they include a dance lesson for those who may be a little less well-versed in moving their hips, but the cost of the lesson (8:30pm) also covers the charge for you to participate in the dancing afterwards. If dancing the night away sounds like something you’d like, then definitely think of spending your Cinco de Mayo night here!
And what better way to conclude your celebration of Cinco de Mayo than by celebrating at El Centro de la Raza at their 12th annual Cinco de Mayo celebration? There will be live music, traditional food for sale, a bazaar, a desfile cultural (cultural parade), and more! The celebration will happen on Saturday the 6th from 12-4, which means that even if you aren’t able to do everything you want to on Friday (or you did do everything and you still want more), you’ve still got more to look forward to.
However you choose to celebrate, we hope you enjoy yourself as we remember and celebrate this historic win for Puebla! Happy Cinco de Mayo!
-Chelsea Booker, The World is Fun Blog Contributor and Resident Cinco De Mayo Enthusiast